Milwaukee’s children are the city’s future, and their education is a profound concern to all of us. Milwaukee Public Schools is responsible for ensuring students have the knowledge and skills to be capable workers and good citizens.
Like other urban school districts in the country, MPS struggles against mighty odds to fulfill this mission. There are major successes and many problems. Trying to overcome these problems is crucial, and there is room for all sectors of the city and region to share in the work.
A new initiative to audit or otherwise examine MPS could be very helpful if the analysis addresses all the fundamental issues at play, including the following:
• The households MPS students come from are in increasing economic distress, and almost one in five students come to the classroom with special needs — emotional, physical and cognitive — that require additional personnel and resources.
Karen Royster is executive director of the Institute for Wisconsin’s Future; Jack Norman is the institute’s research director. The institute is funded by national foundations and does not receive money from state or local teachers unions.